7. The on-screen graphics by NBC including the score box in the top left corner are professional. They’re larger than what we’ve been accustomed to in previous years from other broadcasters, but I have no complaints.
8. Premier League matches have been given the reverence they deserve. The broadcasts start on time (compared to FOX Soccer who sometimes started “live” matches 2-3 minutes after they actually kicked off). Plus, when matches are over, NBC have switched over to other broadcasts where games are being played, which has been a small but wonderful treat this season.
1. NBC has experienced issues syncing up the video feed with audio feed for the games it has shown where they’ve used their own commentators (Arlo White along with a co-commentator). Thankfully those early season hiccups seem to have been resolved now.
2. The use of the two English gentlemen from Football Four Eyes at the beginning of one of their Premier League Live shows earlier this season was misguided. No one knows who these people are. They’re not funny nor are they informative.
When NBC Sports announced the commentary team earlier this year as well as their plans on how it would operate, there were few complaints from fans or pundits. There were, however, a lot of question marks from soccer fans who either weren’t familiar with the talent, or were skeptical. Let’s review how they’ve done thus far.
1. The use of the commentators on site featuring Arlo White/Lee Dixon for Saturday matches, and Arlo White/Graeme Le Saux for Sunday games, has been a breath of fresh air, giving the commentaries a professional feel and remaining topical for American viewers (when necessary). It’s obvious how hard these three men work in preparing for games. And the balance of commentary and statistics is perfect. There’s no using stats here as a crutch unlike other commentators.
2. Arlo White’s temporary replacement, Steve Bower, has been brilliant. The former MUTV commentator has stepped right in where White left off (while he’s commentating MLS games). Bower, if anything, is even better than White. He’s more incisive, less talkative and has an instant camaraderie with Dixon and Le Saux.
3. The decision to bring Tim Howard into the commentary booth was risky, but it paid off for NBC with a low key and rather uneventful co-commentary where he was able to add his insight particularly regarding Joe Hart.